Monday, January 30, 2017

What Immigrants and Refugees actually go through to come to the US

I had been planning to ride a train from Vietnam to Malaysia, however two days before I was supposed to fly out, I chatted online with a cute little woman from the Philippines. I cannot fully explain why, but I changed my ticket to go back and Back Pack that country again instead. We were only supposed to meet for coffee, yet she ended up following me all about her countries islands, and eventually back to the US.

Since I have a first hand view of the "Immigration Process" I will help you out as likely you, as with most people have naught a clue, why would you?

She is what is called a "non Immigrant" meaning she came here on a Fiancé Visa, yea it is a bit confusing as she is still a Immigrant, but not, I wont get into that I have not fully figured it out myself, so here we go with the steps.

Soo you know, at anytime the Government could deny her process, a missed date, a misspelling anything they do not like could deny her.

The first step I had to file with the US government a petition to bring her here. In that petition there had to be Emails or letters of contact, and lots and lots of pictures together. There went a few hundred dollars. And the wait begins.
During this time you are not allowed to contact the US Immigration office, they cannot be bothered.

After the initial set of screening, she then signs up for a medical examination. That examination cannot happen at just any doctors office, it has to be an approved one by the US Government, fair enough. That one clinic was in Manila, so a plane ride away.

The Medical screening lasted three days. During that time she was examined, poked, and blood drawn. X rays were taken as well as Verbal interviews.
In her case she had scars on her lungs from TB, that would set us back another few months as she now needed Mouth Swabs to prove she was clear. Despite the Xrays showing she did not have it any longer. More blood was drawn and hundreds of more dollars spent.
Fair enough

Now back to her Island to wait, and wait, and wait. Then a interview with the US Embassy, which is back in Manila.
The interview is fairly quick and makes sure your love is legit and you are not just coming over to be a quick US citizen.

To ensure that your love is legit they issue you a 90 day get married or she has to go home Visa. That's right, you have 90 days to get married or your live, male or female goes home. Good job not rushing you into things.

Now before we get too far ahead of things, you have another interview in the airport by customs. That agent can refuse for any reason, so maybe your hair sucks that day, or maybe he/she had an argument with your spouse, you ate fucked at that point. Now you go back home, or are allowed. For this story it worked out.

Now that you are married you have to immediately file a change of status and apply for your green card. Another interview at the closest Immigration station so more driving, more money and another fee. Then more fees, and several years later you are finally a US citizen, uhgg.

Should you miss a step, which I can assure you is very easy, you are now one of those nasty Illegals the Right loves to throw about.
How easy is it? Well when the Government sends you letters, they are not even certified. We missed a letter which gave a date for our appointment at the Immigration office. Luckily the office was very accommodating and as you can Imagine, not very busy in Montana so we got right in and everything ended up being ok. Had we not started making calls, we never would have known.

Total so far in two years and still five years away from citizenship, just under 4000 Dollars.

In the case of a refugee they go through the same process to a point, but they have I believe it is a two year wait before they are allowed to come here. In that time frame emails are scoured, embassy visited (Unlike the Movies a US Embassy is not in every city on every corner with open outstretched hands) on and on.
I cannot Imagine what it must be like to not have any form of Transportation, and having to walk through minefields to get to an office of a interview to wait more months to hope you can bring your family to safety.

Now that the new Travel nonsense is in effect, and the worst of it thankfully overturned, lets talk about my wifes new process to go home for a visit.

Up until this point she simply had to show her Passport and off she went. Now she has to go to the Immigration office for another interview, then get approved for a Visa to leave the country, yea I know. Once she is in her Country she now has to fly over to Manila and have another interview before she can come home again. Hundreds more dollars thrown about for what? Was the process not good enough to begin with?
Maybe the sadistic right simply wants more hardship and more stress on anyone who is not "A white American" What nonsense.

There are other forms of Migrants. Many have to fly back home to have a interview at the US Embassy to come back to the US, think about that for a minute. Think long and hard about that. This nonsense has went on long before Trump, and has to end.

I encourage you to show your support for Migrants, and for what these families have to go through.

Immigrants bring lots of good to this country. Tesla was a Immigrant as and Einstein was a refugee. The list is quit huge, Apple would not have came to be had it not been for his Syrian Parents migrating to this country,.

Historically countries which had open boarders and a broad culture base expanded and were prosperous as new Ideas were exchanged.

Open your hearts and your minds, only good will come out of it, I promise.



Monday, January 16, 2017

From someone who did not like babies and infants, this is why I cannot wait to be with mine.

I admit it, I have always been something of a scrooge, especially where babies and infants were concerned. Mind you I always wanted to be a dad, I just wanted to skip the first three years and fast forward to when they did more than poop and scream.

Friends told me I was wrong, "Hey kids are great, you will change your tune when you have your own" Nonsense, I have swam with whale sharks, stood on the Parthenon and looked upon the city of Athens, how on earth could babies even compare? Man was I wrong.

My first came as something as an accident, you see doctors said I likely could never have children as I have the testosterone of a 70 year old. while the two are not necessarily connected, it is a pretty good indicator.
Then along came my first child and it was amazing. There I beheld a mini Me, my creation something I never thought I could or would have. IT only got better from there.

I discovered that diaper detail really was not that bad. Before you say anything know that I have worked in the sanitation industry for nearly two decades before my first came about, so working around "Poo" was nothing new to me. Wit hthat said changing a babies diaper previously had made me gag. However the sayers were right yet again "It is different when it is your own" Perhaps there is something with our senses that allows us to more easily deal with our own, or perhaps it is just the old farm boy doing what needed to be done, nevertheless I enjoy changing my childrens diapers.
A man once told me about changing his childrens diapers "it is a intimate experience all men should experience and enjoy" While I am sure something is lost in translation as English is not his first language, there is something to his statement, and I am not exactly sure what.

I also enjoy the crying, it makes me smile. I do not know why, but when I come home and my little ones are fussing it makes me feel warm and fuzzy, the wife thinks I am crazy.

Overall parenting has been a blast, watching each and every stage is the best, seeing those longing eyes wanting you to hold them never gets old. I now am the guy who carries a phone with hundreds of pictures, ready to share them at a moments notice with anyone who asks.

You get to come home and watch them progress, their first steps are amazing and first words beyond euphoria. The childrens songs despite your hatred of them, are a valuable learning tool for them, so embrace those corny songs as much as possible. Besides, watching your toddler dance is absolutely the best.

Is it better than traveling the world? I dono about that, but I do know it makes having traveled a chunk of the world far, far more meaningful. IT also means that I have more kick ass stories for them, more experiences to share, and the best audience ever for my stories, my own loving children.

So if you are considering, or even having problems as a Parent, just look at your children and remember, it is all for them. If they are crying, fussy or being hard, try different food, avoid spanking, use time outs or other displine instead, and overall just try to enjoy them. Odds are if something is wrong, there is a reason for it, so listen to their cries and concerns, they cannot care for themselves so you are their link to growing into something wonderful.

I hope this short but heart felt blog helps others enjoy parenting, after all, if it was not for babies, how would we continue as a species on earth?